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More rehab needed after hip fractures

Posted - Aug. 17, 2004 at 5:20 p.m.



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ST. LOUIS, Aug 17, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Six months of supervised rehabilitation and resistance training helps elderly patients recover more fully from hip fractures, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis assigned 90 hip-fracture patients to six months of either supervised, outpatient physical therapy and resistance training or standard, self-conducted home exercises.

They found participants who received the supervised therapy and resistance training improved on functional, strength, balance, mobility and quality-of-life measures significantly more than the standard therapy group. Researchers also found bone density for all participants did not decline, contrary to previous research that has shown decline in density up to 4 percent in the year after a hip fracture.

Rehabilitation typically covered by Medicare and most insurance plans involves up to four months of home therapy, but research shows most patients still have significant hardship with daily activities after such therapy.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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